Painted birdhouses, a real tweet for these nursing home residents – The Brighter Side


Residents of two Virginia long-term care facilities enjoy the sight of dozens of freshly painted birdhouses hung in their buildings thanks to a community effort.

United Way of Roanoke Valley hosted a paint and hang event in mid-June at South Roanoke Nursing Home and Richfield Senior Living in Salem to re-engage the aging community as part of its annual Day of Action, an effort designed to tackle challenges in the communities of Roanoke and Salem.

“[Residents] have been isolated for so long, the goal was to get them active again and enrich their lives, ”Brooke Gill, Investor Relations Specialist at United Way, Told Mcknight Long Term Care News at Monday.

Older and younger volunteers dedicated their time to help paint some 50 birdhouses in various colors and patterns. “It was really an intergenerational effort,” said Gill.

The volunteers then hung the colorful birdhouses in the trees along a path that residents can walk on. Nest boxes were also hung in front of residents’ windows.

“They were really excited about the opportunity to walk around campus and follow the birdhouse trail,” said Gill.

Judy Adams, a resident of Richfield Senior Living in Salem, volunteered her free time to paint the birdhouses alongside other volunteers, and now she “likes to check the birdhouses to see which ones are occupied,” Gill noted.

Vickie Miller, community engagement manager at Richfield Living, said residents are grateful for the volunteer effort.

“Our residents not only appreciate the birdhouses, but also appreciate the support of the United Way in Richfield,” she said.

Miller also explained how the facility works to support environmental conservation and that they have placed the nesting boxes in a way that cultivates healthy wildlife.

Centraide’s “field start” efforts are an example of how simple changes can meet the “often overlooked needs of community members” and address these specific issues, said Gill.

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